June 12, 2014

May I Recommend...

Haven’t posted anything since the last week of May. Show of hands: who missed me? (*Crickets.* As I suspected…) But just in case you think I’ve been sitting on my duff doing nothing in my blogging absence, the truth is, I’ve been staring at the wall for hours, pondering my life hard at work on a super-special project I will tell you about when the time is right. (And no, that is not a marketing ploy to get you to buy something when it debuts, because, frankly, I am a total and complete moron when it comes to whoring out selling stuff and making a living at this.) So anyway, it might be a little bit before I hit my blogging stride again, but for now, I wanted to give you a couple of cheese suggestions, ‘cuz hey, who doesn’t want to try some awesome new cheeses?

I’ve cut way back on dairy for a while now, and it seems to be doing good things for me. (I still eat my butter and my heavy cream, because, really, you do not want to interact with me sans coffee, and while I can, on occasion, drink it black, I much prefer it with cream. So the Paleo police can just bite me understand that I am not, and never will be 100% Paleo, nor do I aspire to be.)

Why am I cutting back on dairy? Why is this cheese, sour cream, yogurt, and cottage cheese-loving gal eschewing these things these days? Just a little experiment. I may or may not be dealing with some excessive estrogen “stuff,” and I figure it couldn’t hurt to consume fewer products that come from a lactating mama cow, know what I mean? (But as I said, you can pry the butter and cream from my cold, dead hands.)

But just because I’m not partaking of my usual amount of dairy at the moment doesn’t mean I can’t give you a heads up about two very delicious cheeses I “discovered” a few months ago. And no trip to Switzerland required! (Although that would be nice. If you care to buy me a plane ticket [and put me up somewhere], I’d be happy to send you my address offline, hehheh.) All you need is a local Trader Joe’s, which has a pretty awesome cheese selection, most of which is available at a not exorbitant price.

So next time you find yourself hankering for a little somethin’ somethin’ from the dairy case, check out these two cheeses. They are both pretty darn yummy. (But do be careful – both can also be kind of addictive and hard to wrap up and put back in the fridge. The Red Leicester far more than the Pesto Gouda, IMHO.) As always, please excuse my crap photography skills.

This is ridiculously good. Purchase and proceed with caution.
You have been warned.

Note the basil-y goodness. Gouda cheese? Pesto?
What’s not to love? (Except maybe the gratuitous umlauts?)
OT: "Gratuitous umlauts" would be an awesome name for a band.

P.S. I’m not sure where to go next in the fuel partitioning series. Is there anything specific you’re curious about? Something you want me to write about? Preferably something that hasn’t already been covered ad nauseum on a million other blogs? I have a separate series on “TOFI” in the works (“thin outside, fat inside,” a.k.a. “skinny fat” or “normal weight obese”), but I’m hoping to mine for some more gold in fuel metabolism first.

Remember: Amy Berger, M.S., NTP, is not a physician and Tuit Nutrition, LLC, is not a medical practice. The information contained on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition.


  1. I thought for the longest time that I was lactose intolerant and when I found out this was not the case the floodgates were open. So far I don't seem to be suffering any adverse effects from it. (Like how I'm also very tolerant to wheat. Whee!) I drink a fair bit of raw milk, about three cups a day... anything to specifically watch out for?

    On the subject of fuel partitioning, maybe you could talk more about protein. Like, what happens at the cellular level when it's used for fuel and what conditions cause muscle breakdown.

    Also I'd like to understand more about fructose metabolism. Some folks are saying that because of the way fructose is metabolized it's the reason HFCS is worse than regular old sugar. Yet fructose is found abundantly in fruits and they're one of the first things I consider among safe, whole foods.

    One thing I'm really curious about is how to square a high-fat diet with the need to balance omega-3 and omega-6. According to Chris Kresser's research, internal conversion of ALA (as found in canola oil) to DHA and EPA (as found in fish) is very inefficient, and you can't compare the same amount of ALA to pre-formed DHA and EPA. While nuts are widely regarded as a healthy eating choice, it seems that eating them on a regular basis blows away any hopes of having a decent ratio between omega-3 and omega-6. Eating eggs, milk, and dairy from factory-farmed animals probably wouldn't help either. I'm also wondering if attaining some magic ratio is really all that necessary for general health. Admittedly this may be more suitable for a fat tuesday post.

    1. Hey Elliot...thanks for the ideas. Lots of directions there I wouldn't have thought to go in. I can address some of those topics, but I'll have my research cut out for me if I'm going to do them justice. (Or even feel like I have any business talking about them.) As for the n-3/n-6 issue, if you haven't already, I recommend listening to the recent Fat Burning Man podcast with Chris Masterjohn: http://fatburningman.com/chris-masterjohn-good-fats-vs-bad/. Chris is pretty much the go-to guy on fats, and he brought some sanity to the inflammation issue...nobody's going to keel over if they have a salad once in a while with store-bought dressing made from regular ol' soybean oil.

      I don't know too much about fructose that hasn't already been discussed elsewhere. For people who are *metabolically healthy,* I don't think there's a problem with a little bit of fruit. I wouldn't be doing gigantic smoothies every day or wolfing down 2 lbs of grapes or bananas, but a peach or a pear, or berries when in season? Ripe summer peaches from the farmer's market are a thing of beauty. But for an obese diabetic, I'd probably caution against fruit, at least until they get their sugar handling under control. I defer a bit to Dr. Lustig on the fructose issue, but I do think he engages in a bit of fear-mongering as well. I can't see HFCS being too much worse than sucrose, b/c HFCS is 55% fructose, while sucrose is 50%, so it's not *that* much more heavily skewed toward fructose. I think the difference is that because corn (and therefore HFCS) is so unbelievably cheap, they add it to products that wouldn't otherwise be sweetened -- like crackers, breadcrumbs, pasta sauce, etc. So we probably *are* consuming more fructose, but not specifically because it's in the form of HFCS (and only 5% more fructose than table sugar), but because it's in everything.

      As for raw milk, I don't think there's anything to be concerned with. I don't think it would *induce* hormonal issues, but I can see it exacerbating ones that already exist, that's why I'm going a little easier for now. And raw is the way to go, if you can access it in your area, so good for you! And I agree -- being "lucky" enough to be able to have some dairy & wheat now and then without spending 3 days in the bathroom opens up a lot of nice food possibilities. (And makes you not have to be "that guy/girl" at your friend's dinner party and that kind of thing.)

      The protein question...very interesting! Do you read Bill Lagakos? You'd probably like these posts: http://caloriesproper.com/?p=4022

  2. Late cheese bloomer myself. A great meal to be had with artisan baguette, cheese platter, pate and red wine. Interesting that the pesto cheese label lists milk twice.

    Both list pasteurized milk on their ingredient list? What is your take on raw milk cheeses? Have you tried raw milk cheeses to see if they make a difference?


    1. I agree: good bread, good cheese, and good wine? So very epicurean, European, and *delicious.* Let the food police come get me. Life is too short. I've had plenty of raw milk cheeses, and they're usually wonderful. Just depends on what you're in the mood for, I guess, because some types of cheese are almost impossible to find raw. I love a good raw sheep's milk Roquefort. (One of the best sources of lauric acid outside coconut & palm kernel oils.) I don't know that the raw/pasteurized issue makes much difference with hormones. (A lactating cow is a lactating cow.) I don't have any digestive issues with dairy (that I'm aware of), and I think that's probably where someone might notice a bigger difference between raw & pasteurized -- and even that might apply more to liquid milk, sour cream, and yogurt, where there's more lactose than in cheese (especially an aged one).

      I do love cheese, though. I'll probably bring it back soon and see what happens. Raw milk is illegal where I live, but I've spent a lot of time in PA, and you can buy some really great raw cheeses right on the farms. (And of course, you can buy raw cheese anywhere, as long as it's aged.)